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Carrotmob Us, Please!

I love to read, I love to write, and I love to talk. In short, I love words so I always enjoy learning about the official Word of the Year.  Each year, the New Oxford American Dictionary announces The Word of the Year and the Finalists. This year's word is: hypermiling. Have you heard of it? "Hypermiling" (or to "hypermile") is to attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one's car and one's driving techniques. If you keep the tires on your car properly inflated or have removed a roof rack to maximize gas mileage, then you are hypermiling.

I didn't know the word before learning it was the 2008 winner, but I was familiar with a few of the finalists like hockey mom, tweet (see the tweets on my blog) and frugalista (a frugal fashionista). Since I'm no longer a member of the traditional corporate world, I didn't know "moofers" (mobile out of office workers) or "topless meetings" (much more G-rated than it sounds - a meeting with no laptops present). But, the new word that fascinated me most was Carrotmob. Carrotmobbing is a mob gathering in which people, invited via the Net, support and reward a local, small, ethical business such as a shop or a café by all patronizing at the same time. It is a way for a group of consumers to "give these businesses a "carrot" for working toward "green" improvements. For a great explanation of how it works, check out this blog post on wired.com.

Learning about carrot mobbing comes at a time when Pascal and I are implementing ways to make South 'n France Bon Bons more green. We've already reduced packaging waste by investing in custom-sized boxes for our shipments. We use re-usable gel paks, coolers and tins. We make our products by hand, using man power instead of a lot of machine power. And we're putting together a rewards program that will be introduced in 2009 for customers who bring empty bon bon tins for refills. Stay tuned for more "green" ideas from South 'n France in the New Year. Meanwhile, please Carrotmob us! We'd be honored.



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